Suffer from Intolerance or Allergic to Dairy Products?


Milk allergy is one of the most common food allergies in childhood, affecting about 1-2 percent of preschool children

Fortunately, most children will grow out of their milk allergy. Current observation suggests that although most children would outgrow their milk allergy before starting school, increasing numbers are now outgrowing their milk allergy much later. Some children enter high school years with milk allergy and only outgrow it in their teen years. A small number do not even outgrow it. This small group remain allergic to milk well into adulthood.

Cow’s Milk Allergy

Cow's milk allergy is an immune response to one or more of the proteins (albumin, casein or whey) in cow's milk. This means that when you consume cow's milk, your immune system identifies the protein as dangerous and mobilises your body's defences. If you are allergic to dairy, you will experience an immediate Type 1 hypersensitivity reaction. This response can be triggered by a very small amount of milk protein. Reactions range in severity from acute dermatological or digestive manifestations such as eczema, hives or diarrhoea to more severe potentially life threatening anaphylaxis or chronic malabsorption and inflammation. The only effective treatment for cow's milk allergy is to fully eliminate cow's milk and any products containing it.

Lactose Intolerance

This is a relatively common complaint, perhaps one in five people will suffer symptoms suggestive of lactose intolerance and this is a lot more common in certain ethnic groups. This is not an allergic condition, but an inability to digest lactose (milk sugar) because of low levels or an absence of lactase the enzyme responsible for digesting lactose. It can affect both children and adults, and the common symptoms are diarrhoea, bloating and discomfort. Lactose intolerance may occur temporarily following a bout of gastroenteritis and in these cases will usually resolve over time. Other cases will be lifelong such as those born with a primary lactose intolerance or those who grow into it.

What’s the difference between lactose intolerance and dairy allergy?

“A milk allergy involves an attack on milk protein by the immune system, the part of the body that fights infections,”

explains pediatric allergist Scott Sicherer, MD, author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Dairy-Free Eating. In most cases, a type of antibody known as IgE (immunoglobulin E) responds to milk protein as if it’s a dangerous invader, triggering a cascade of immune response that causes potentially dangerous symptoms.

“A milk intolerance, also called lactose intolerance, is trouble with digesting the sugar in milk.”


In contrast, says Sicherer, Lactose is the milk sugar and lactase is the enzyme that digests it. Unlike an allergy, dairy intolerance involves problems in the digestive system that stem from this missing enzyme.


So? Go for Dairy-Free Diet!

There are many available products for those on a dairy-free diet. Whether you’re lactose intolerant, have a dairy allergy, or simply prefer to follow a plant-based diet, you can find milk alternatives – such as soy, rice, coconut, almond and hemp milks.

Dairy-Free Benefits:

·         Preventing Milk Allergy and Sensitivity Reactions

·         Healthy Digestion

·         Vegan Living and the Environment

·         Reducing Exposure to Added Antibiotics and Hormones

So, what are you waiting for? Let’s start your dairy-free diet today! 

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